Chire Regans (AKA “VantaBlack”) was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, and lived there until her family relocated to Miami in the late 1980s. Crime was out of control in Saint Louis, and Miami was viewed as a refuge of sorts by her mother. Her passion for art began soon after. After graduating from Florida A&M University, Chire began to focus primarily on drawing from life and portraiture. As societal issues began to weigh heavily on her conscience, a message took shape behind the imagery. The emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement pushed Chire’s art in the direction of social awareness and change. In late February 2016, a number of young people became victims of an ongoing epidemic of gun violence in Miami-Dade County. Driven by emotion and the need to bring awareness to this epidemic, Chire began a series of memorial portraits of victims of violence in Miami-Dade County and beyond. This series, which Chire categorizes as Social Commentary Art, began with five portraits and now includes over 100 portraits of victims and their stories. The goals of this Memorial Portrait Project are to address the effects of gun violence in the community, raise awareness, and spark a constructive dialogue about how to actively combat this epidemic.